LUBBOCK, Texas (May 13, 2009) - The No. 1 Lubbock Christian University Chaparrals scored in each inning except the fifth inning and received a pair of home runs from Tanner Rindels to advance in the winner's bracket of the Field 1 Tournament in the 2009 NAIA National Championship Opening Round with a 14-11 win over No. 18 Wayland Baptist University at Hays Field. The Chaps are now one win away from advancing to the Avista NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho. They will seek that win Thursday at 6 p.m. as they will play the winner of the Thursday afternoon elimination game between William Jewell and Wayland Baptist.
The Chaps have now scored 42 runs in two tournament games. Pioneers pitcher Todd Weldon held the Chaps to just three hits in their last meeting, but the same wouldn't be said in his second outing against the Chaps. Rindels hit his first home run in the bottom of the first inning for an early 2-0 lead. LCU had trouble distancing themselves in the contest. The Pioneers matched the Chaps three first inning runs with three in the second inning, and then matched LCU's two runs from the bottom of the second inning with two in the top of the third inning to tie the game at 5-5. The Chaps received a two-run homer from Dan Neumann in the third inning and then received four runs in the fourth inning with run-producing hits from Ross Blondin, Rob Learned and Tyler Johnson for an 11-5 lead. WBU cut the deficit to 11-8 with a pair of runs in the fifth inning and a solo home run from Franky Busani in the sixth inning. The Pioneers were unable to get within three runs, as the teams matched each other in runs the final three innings.
Rindels finished the game 3-for-4 from the plate with five runs-batted-in and three runs scored. Will Stramp went 0-for-3 for the Chaps and had his 23-game hitting streak come to an end. R.L. Eisenbach improved to 12-0 with the win on the mound. He matched a career high with 12 strikeouts despite allowing 10 runs on 14 hits in 7 2/3 innings. Jakob Cunningham pitched the final 1 1/3 innings and allowed a solo homer to Pedro Gomez for his only hit allowed. Weldon allowed 11 runs off eight hits in 3 1/3 innings to drop his record to 11-4. Busani, who is now 8-for-8 this season against Eisenbach, completed the game 4-for-5 with three RBI in the losing cause for the Pioneers.
LCU (46-6) will seek their eighth trip to the Avista NAIA World Series Thursday, with the first of two shots at claiming the Field 1 Tournament. If LCU is unable to garner the win in the Thursday's game, the final two teams will play an elimination championship game at 1 p.m. on Friday. Thursday evening's broadcast will be on KKAM 1340 The Fan.